Surprise celebrates another year by looking back

By Jason Stone | YourValley

Surprise never properly got the chance to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the 2023 State of the City event March 30 at City Hall felt more like that anniversary party that never happened.

“The Story of Surprise” was the theme of the night, with a video premiere in Council Chambers that highlighted the beginnings of Surprise — and the growth that’s taken it from a few dozen people in the 1940s to more than 150,000 people today.

The roughly 28-minute video concluded with the Surprise story “to be continued…”

That brought out the emotions in the city’s mayor, Skip Hall, who was choked up when he returned to speak to the crowd after the movie ended.

“That brings tears to my eyes,” he said.

The video presentation literally told the Surprise story, starting with its early history through current times with the development of the Village at Prasada.


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